President Donald Trump on Sunday labeled one of his vice president’s top national security aides a “Never Trumper,” a day after it was disclosed that she had said the president’s July call with Ukraine was “unusual and inappropriate” in a deposition to Congress.
Trump tweeted that the aide, Jennifer Williams — “whoever that is,” he said — should read the transcripts of both his calls with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine: the July 25 call at the center of the impeachment inquiry, as well as an initial April 21 call that the White House released a summary of Friday.
He added: “Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!”
Trump did not offer any evidence that Williams, a longtime foreign service officer, had ever opposed him. Spokespeople from the State Department and Vice President Mike Pence's office did not respond to requests for comment.
The president has denied wrongdoing, a position he maintains as House impeachment investigators hold public hearings with witnesses concerned about Trump’s request for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in the July 25 call.
The April conversation between Trump and Zelensky included no mention of an investigation into the Bidens, serving more as a congratulatory call for the Ukrainian leader’s election victory. However, it also did not mention Ukrainian corruption, even though a White House readout of the call issued back in April said the two presidents discussed “reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity, and root out corruption.”
Williams, who began working for the State Department during the George W. Bush administration, serves as Pence’s special adviser for Europe and Russia. She told House investigators in early November that she took notes while listening to the July 25 call from the White House Situation Room, and she believed that Trump’s request to Ukraine was politically motivated. Williams is scheduled to testify on Tuesday before the House Intelligence Committee.
Trump has gone after multiple witnesses in the impeachment inquiry and characterized them as “Never Trumpers,” including the top diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman of the National Security Council. Taylor testified last week, and Vindman is scheduled to appear on Tuesday.
The president also tried to discredit Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, as she was testifying on Friday. “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” he wrote in a tweet that the Intelligence Committee’s chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), read aloud in real time during the hearing.
On Sunday, Trump took advantage of not having any public events on his schedule, firing off at least 40 tweets and retweets over the span of six hours. He was mostly in impeachment-attack mode, retweeting news-show appearances by Capitol Hill allies — even calling Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York a “Republican Star” for her role in the hearings — and criticizing the media and “Do Nothing Dems.”
Daniel Lippman contributed to this report.